Getting started in Guest Blogging

I’m taking this week off to prepare for the upcoming holiday.

This week I guest posted at Operation Awesome. Home of the pages or pass contest.

If you are not guest posting, I highly recommend it. Yes, it does take away from your valuable writing time, but it exposes you to a new audience. Publicity is difficult for writers, and guest posting is an effective (and free) way to get your name out there.

Sometimes blogs will actively ask for guest bloggers by posting submission requirements on their pages, but most of my guest posts appear on blogs where I blind queried.

Some tips:

Make a list of blogs you follow

These could be writing blogs, or any other topic you have expertise in. If you are a romance writer, look for romance blogs like Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. If you wrote a book on gardening, try gardening blogs.

Send a query letter asking to guest post

This is the exact query letter you would send to a magazine. Briefly describe the article you propose and give an approximate word count. Unless you are already on friendly terms with the blog’s editor, keep the letter professional. (Even if the blog’s tone is not.)

Deliver your content when promised

I shouldn’t need to say this but…

Deliver top-quality content (even to a small blog)

You never know what an article will do once it’s on the internet. REALLY. Everything you put online reflects on you. My most popular article is one I published almost as a joke. It consistently outperforms the rest of my blog articles combined. Even if a blog has a small readership, it has the potential to produce popular content, and once your article is published, you have no control to edit or remove it.

Find a niche

To make guest blogging easier on your time budget, develop your expertise in a single topic. This will allow you to put articles together without spending hours on research. You will also begin to establish yourself as an expert on your topic.

Don’t submit the exact same article

Feel free to recycle topics and even outlines, but sending a cut-and-paste article to every venue won’t help anyone. Google recognizes repeated content and ranks it lower in the search engine results. Make sure every article is unique, even if the overall message is the same.

Finally,

Guest blogging is a great way for writers to gain an audience. With a little investment of time, writers can produce lasting benefits for their careers. It’s free publicity and the perfect way for the novice to establish a portfolio and move toward paid blogging gigs.

Try guest blogging. You may be surprised where it takes you.